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Jose Reyes Singles In First At-Bat And Is Promptly Lifted From Game

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Will it ever be this way again?
Will it ever be this way again?

In what might be his last game with the Mets, Jose Reyes collected a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first inning and was promptly lifted from the game by manager Terry Collins. The single brought Reyes's batting average up to .337 (.3370577281), more than two-ten-thousandths higher than Ryan Braun, who is currently batting .335 (.3345259392).

Braun will presumably be in the lineup tonight when the Brewers and Pirates play an otherwise meaningless game. Here are his possible final batting averages depending on the results tonight:

IF BRAUN GOES:

1-for-1 (.3357142857) = REYES WINS
3-for-5 (.3368794326) = REYES WINS
2-for-2 (.3368983957) = REYES WINS
3-for-4 (.3374777975) = BRAUN WINS
3-for-3 (.3380782918) = BRAUN WINS

Anything worse than 3-for-4 (e.g., 2-for-3, 2-for-4, 4-for-6) would mean a Reyes victory. Anything better than 3-for-4 (e.g., 4-for-4, 4-for-5, 5-for-5) would mean a Braun victory, but since the Brewers will have the benefit of time (i.e., knowing that Reyes is done for the season now), they'd certainly pull Braun if he picked up three hits in his first three or four at-bats.

Whatever happens, ultimately the Mets and/or Reyes (it's not clear who made the decision, though it's hard to imagine Collins made it without input or at the very least acquiescence on Reyes's part) are robbing the team's fans of seeing Reyes play a full nine innings in what could very well be his swan song in Flushing, simply for the sake of giving Reyes a better shot at winning the batting title. While I support their support of Reyes's pursuit, in so doing the Mets are perhaps acting against their own best interests, as a Reyes batting title will only make him more expensive to retain this offseason. Fans who slogged out to Citi Field today despite the overcast skies and unexciting thought of watching Miguel Batista close out the 2011 season deserved better than one plate appearance of their most beloved Met.